THE BREWSKI REPORT Tommy Brewski: My Beer. My Life.

April 19, 2013

Boddingtons Pub Ale Beer Review 4.19.2013

The pour on this beverage is magnificent to view.

The pour on this beverage is magnificent to view.

TBR Reports on Inbev’s Boddingtons Pub Ale
File Date:  4.19.2013

File Name: Good There Isn’t Good Here
The Beer: Boddingtons Pub Ale
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Can
Stats: 4.7% ABV
Brewer: Boddingtons (Inbev UK Limited)
Web Site: http://ab-inbev.co.uk/
State/Country of Origin: England
Brewer Info: Anheuser-Busch InBev is the largest brewer in the world and makes many of the UK’s best-loved drinks. Our size is matched by our ambitions. We have set ourselves the goal, through our people, our products and our work on responsible drinking, community and the environment, of becoming the Best Beer Company in a Better World. Our beers have been popular in the UK for many years and we now employ around 1,400 people at our UK breweries at Magor, Samlesbury and in Mortlake – as well as at our company headquarters in Luton. In the UK we manage and make a wide range of award-winning beers, ales, stouts and cider. They include global flagship brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s as well as local favourites including Boddingtons and Bass. We have introduced new beers such as Budweiser Brew No.66, Stella Artois Black and Stella Artois Cidre and distribute iconic world beers including Hoegaarden and Leffe.

tbr-boddingtons-logo-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Boddingtons has been enjoyed by beer drinkers in England for more than 200 years, and is well known for its creamy head and smooth body. It is now sold in over 30 countries worldwide and can be drunk on tap in places as far afield as New Zealand and Hong Kong. Boddingtons is a refreshing, smooth beer renowned for its golden colour, full-bodied flavour and malty, moreish taste with smooth, tight creamy head.
Label: Since 1778 when it was first brewed at the Strangeways Brewery in Manchester, Boddingtons has been renowned as a unique, pale-gold ale. In English pubs, Boddingtons is served using the traditional hand pulled method which mixes air with the ale as it pours, producing a distinctive creamy head and smooth body, with little gassiness. Ordinary packaged ale cannot match this quality, but the new DRAUGHTFLOW SYSTEM does. By releasing millions of tiny bubbles when opened, DRAUGHTFLOW cans give creamy head and authentic fresh taste of Boddingtons Pub Ale. The DRAUGHTFLOW SYSTEM employs a small recyclable device which floats in the ale.

The Brewski Review: I think Boddingtons has the DRAUGHTFLOW SYSTEM down to a science. The pour was fantastic to watch: tiny little bubbles made the beer look almost effervescent. At first I thought it was a cloudy, mud color but the head rose up to the top and formed a nice, tight, creamy white head that stuck around to the bitter end. The beer itself was rather tasteless and unmentionable. It wasn’t bad by any means but on the first sip I was rather blown away by the lack of taste – almost watery. Yes it was smooth and creamy. It maintained a nice balance between the hops and malt which minimized the aftertaste. But, would I drink this here in the states? No. Would I drink it while sitting in a pub in England? Maybe. Will I ever travel to the UK to give it a try? Probably not. If I was going to venture overseas, I think Austria would be my first stop for beer. The history of England would be appealing to see, touch and learn, but it’s not tops on my list. Besides, I don’t think I could fathom taking my two young children with us on such a long journey. It’s challenging enough to make it couple miles up the street to the grocery store let along half way around the globe.

Drinkability: Probably not.
Appearance: Nice deep gold and creamy white head.
The Buds: Rather bland.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5 caps

Boddingtons beer girl No. 1. (Note the hyper-toned drinking appendage.)

Boddingtons beer girl No. 1. (Note the hyper-toned drinking appendage.)

Crazy strong Boddintons beer girl No. 2 w/ switchable drinking/arm wrestling muscled up right limb.

Crazy strong Boddintons beer girl No. 2 w/ switchable drinking/arm wrestling muscled up right limb.

May 22, 2011

TBR Reviews Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale 5.22.2011

No doubt a colorful story behind the name. But, it's what's in the bottle that counts.

A colorful story behind the name. But, it's what's in the bottle that counts.

The Brewski Report Reviews Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale
File Date: 5.22.2011

File Name: An import that isn’t an import.
The Beer: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.7% ABV
Brewer: Black Sheep Brewery
Web Site: www.blacksheepbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Brewer Info: Our HistoryIt is almost impossible to believe that The Black Sheep Brewery is only 18 years old. In fact it was in October 1992 when our beers first made an appearance in pubs in and around the Yorkshire Dales. The delivery of those first casks of beer all those years ago began a new era for Paul Theakston, whose family has brewed in Masham for six generations. It also allowed him to put behind him the heartache left by the often acrimonious battles that culminated in the “old” family firm of T & R Theakston Ltd ending up at the time as part of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. The events that led to the loss of independence  of the Theakston brewery had rumbled on since the early 1970s, with Scottish & Newcastle finally seizing power in 1987. Although offered a position in the big company, Paul decided that that style of life wasn’t for him. What’s more, it would have meant him leaving his beloved Masham. Determined to stay in Masham and being a long, long way from retirement (both age-wise and financially!!) it didn’t take long for Paul to conclude that small brewery life was what he wanted. The decision was made; create a new but traditional style brewery in Masham…

tbr-hg-labBrewer Brand Hype: Another fine addition to the Black Sheep flock of premium bottle ales. This ale was specially commissioned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Monty Python in 1999. Ten years later on the 40th anniversary Holy Grail is still going strong. With more hops than a killer rabbit, it’s a full-flavoured golden ale with a distinctively fruity flavour followed by the Black Sheep signature dry finish. Dangerously fruity against a biscuity malty background. You can always taste the difference when an ale has been tempered by burning witches. In this respect Holy Grail certainly doesn’t disappoint with its clean zesty flavour and long crisp bitter finish. We brew Holy Grail with Maris Otter malt, an old and expensive variety that is renowned for the taste and the quality of the beer it produces. A mixture of old English Hop varieties including a touch of WGV hops gives Holy Grail its lovely fruity nose. 2009 was the 40th anniversary of Monty Python and the 10thanniversary of our Holy Grail. To celebrate we are currently supplying the beer in all theatres showing the hit musical “Spamalot” on the nationwide tour. Did You Know…
That Holy Grail is our most popular beer in the US and Canada? All our bottled ales are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
Label: Tempered over burning witches.

The Brewski Review: I was somewhat perplexed by this beer. When I rolled the bottle around to check the brewer it listed Rochester, NY. At first I thought the retail shelf stocker made a mistake by putting a domestic beer with the imported. But, upon further research, I learned that the beer was subcontracted to Highfalls Brewing Company – the same company who brings you Genesee (In 2009 Highfalls was purchased by KPS Capital which then merged Labatt USA, Dundee Brewing, Pyramid, Magic Hat, MacTarnahan’s as well as Highfalls under a new name: North American Breweries.). More than 50% of the production of Highfalls is contracted out for other brewers such as Boston Beer Company and Coors. According to 2010 records, Highfalls is the 8th largest brewer in North America (betcha didn’t know that). Why I mention all this is because I don’t really consider it an import. It has the name and address of the brewery who owns the name and recipe, but it was brewed in the states. To me, it’s false advertising. If I wanted a beer brewed in Rochester I go by a Genny Cream. I purchased an imported ale which, to me, was nothing super special. I was hoping for a great tasting beer and instead drank something that was average with a colorful story behind the name. The movie? No doubt a classic from yesteryear. The beer? Not a classic in my mind and probably because it’s linked to an old movie which many new drinkers now-a-days never even heard of or seen.

Drinkability: Nah. I’ll try something else.
Appearance: Darker golden/bordering on amber color. Max head.
The Buds: Smoother than other English Pale Ale’s I’ve tried.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

'Tis just a flesh wound.'  No doubt a true, venerable classic.

'Tis just a flesh wound.' No doubt a true, venerable classic.

December 30, 2009

Greene King’s Old Speckled Hen English Pale Ale Beer Review 12.30.09

The Beer Named After a Car  - Moreland's Old Speckled Hen.

The Beer Named After a Car - Moreland's Old Speckled Hen.

The Brewski Report Reviews Greene King’s Old Speckled Hen and the President’s Popularity Slide.
File Date: 12.30.09

File Name:  A New Paint Job Doesn’t Make Something New Again.
The Beer: Old Speckled Hen
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Clear Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer:  Greene King / Moreland Brewery
Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: Morland was a brewery in Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). They first brewed in West Ilsley in 1711. It was purchased and closed by Greene King in 2000; and production of the Morland beers was moved to their brewery in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Greene King has operated pubs and brewing for over 200 years. Combining successful traditional ale brands with modern forward thinking, Greene King has grown steadily from its base in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk to become a leading pub retailer and brewer.  Greene King brews all of its beers in Bury St Edmunds, where ale has been a feature of life since at least as far back as 1086. But we’ve taken the traditional art of brewing to new heights, producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country. Our beers are as much at home in city centre nightspots as they are in the cosy lounge of the village pub; we’ve taken the traditional craft of brewing and turned it into an art form. No other UK brewer is as committed to cask ale.

greene-king-tavern-plaque1Brewer Brand Hype: “Old Speckled Hen” was first brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Named after an old MG car which was used as the factory run around, they would park the old MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon outside the paint shop where it would normally get spattered in paint and so it became known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’. This turned into “Old Speckled Hen” when the beer was unveiled. Since then the finely balanced beer with a distinctive rich malty taste and fruity aroma has attracted many fans, including the fox, who is always on the hunt for his Hen.

The Run-Around Car That Spawned the Name....

The Run-Around Car That Spawned the Name....

Label:  Named after an unusual speckled vintage MG car, Old Speckled Hen is a Pale Ale which owes it’s distinctive character and dry taste to a unique strain of yeast first used in 1896.  The complex flavour reflects skills developed across more than 280 years of independent brewing history.

 

The Brewski Review:  Here is an interesting, yet unqualified factoid I heard the other day: President Obama’s popularity has been declining due to FOX News’ use of attractive women commentators.  I found this comment to be rather interesting.  Now, I’m not sure if the gentleman who made the statement actually believed  what he said or if he was searching for any ammunition he could fire in a conversation he was quickly loosing regarding the correlation of the rise of FOX News and the freefall of the President’s popularity.  FOX News, as you may know, has been trouncing all the other news media outlets of late.  I have watched FOX News and yes, there are attractive women commentators on the show.  I will also agree that guys are visual creatures and wanting to watch attractive women wouldn’t be a big stretch.  But, a guy being swayed to switch his political affiliation while watching and listening to attractive women IS a stretch.  Either he’s of weak constitution or the women are VERY convincing.  That said, I do see a correlation: there is a rising discontent to what’s been happening in the country lately and those concerned individuals would rather opt to gather information from an outlet that doesn’t lean to the left.  FOX News isn’t accelerating the President’s popularity slide.  That blame rests squarely on the President and those decision makers he elected to surround himself with.  Speaking of FOX, the mascot for Moreland’s Old Speckled Hen is in fact a fox.  Their ads promo a fox in search of the ‘Hen’.  Ironic isn’t it.  I thought so.  Overall, the beer was average.  Poured with a nice head and maintained a nice amber color.  Taste was mildly bitter but not too much.  The ‘Hen’ didn’t grab my taste buds and surely didn’t leave them screaming for more.   

Drinkability: Offered a choice, I’d probably try something else.
Appearance: Medium amber in color.
The Buds:  Crisp taste with medium bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating:  3.5 out of 5 caps.

December 23, 2009

Fuller’s London Pride English Pale Ale Review 12.23.09

Fuller, Smith & Turner's London Pride English Pale Ale.

Fuller, Smith & Turner's London Pride English Pale Ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Fuller’s London Pride English Pale Ale and My Pumpkin Problems.
File Date: 12.23.09

File Name:  Roadside Litter Has It’s Place.
The Beer: London Pride
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.7% ABV
Brewer: Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C.
Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: London’s only remaining traditional family brewer. Based at the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, between the serenity of the River Thames and the hustle and bustle of the Hogarth Roundabout, Fuller’s has been brewing quality beers and running excellent pubs since 1845.  At the heart of everything we do, you will find quality, service and pride – in equal measure. We aim to brew the best beers and run the best pubs. Our beers are brewed to the highest standards and have won a myriad of global awards. From our flagship London Pride to the exclusive Vintage Ale, they are crafted with pride and passion. We have an estate of over 360 pubs across the South of England offering outstanding cask conditioned ales, delicious food, great wines and exemplary service.  If you are looking for quality, service and pride – or just the best pint in the best pub – you have come to the right place.tbr-fullers-cartouche

Brewer Brand Hype: Fuller’s London Pride is the UK’s leading premium ale. Known and loved for its distinctive, rounded flavour, London Pride is the award-winning beer for which Fuller’s is most famous. In recent years its popularity has grown to the extent that it is now Britain’s leading premium ale: a welcome fixture in many pubs and off licences around the country, and now winning new friends abroad.  To the beer afficiando looking for the classic English pint, we say this: Whatever you do, take Pride.

Label: Fuller’s London Pride is an award-winning English classic pale ale, rich and smooth, with a good malty base and well-developed hop notes in the finish.  The Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, has been brewing fine ales since 1654.  The Fuller, Smith & Turner partnership, dating back to 1845, brews an excellent range of award-winning ales, many of which are available in the USA, including London Pride pale ale and the world’s original ESB.  I hope you will enjoy trying all our fine ales. 

The Brewski Review: I have a Halloween mat at my front doorstep and pumpkins on the porch.  Oh, and the Christmas decorations are now up.  Great combo huh?  On the way out the door to work the other day I took action.  Since my wonderful city solid waste department won’t pick them up that didn’t leave me with many options.  So I decided to do a little punkin’ chunkin’.  Not the trebuchet variety.  But a drive down a rural road and a quick heave-ho out the window (we’re not talking huge pumkins here).  I figure the best place for them to rot would be in a field.  Some may disagree with me and that’s okay – the world needs nay-sayers too – but my position is that they’d decay much quicker on the side of the road than in a landfill.  Now, I am a staunch supporter of litter laws but I do bend them on occasion.  I limit my road trash to apple cores and bannana peels – quick biodegradable items.  I burst a blood vessel in my forehead everytime I see someone throw a cig butt out the window or a fistfull of fast food wrappers.  Pop cans?  I’m on the fence.  These may get picked up and recycled faster on the side of the road than in a landfill but I generally don’t do this (I don’t usually drink soda anyhow).  All said, let me set the record straight – I’M NO GREEN FREAK.  I don’t track my carbon footprint.  I recycle because I think it’s the right thing to do and if it saves me money…it has my support.  The climate change theory is an amped up hoax that will create excessive taxes and eliminate thousands of jobs in this country.  Cap and Trade will be the G-man’s tour de force for generating money and controlling business.  But, back to business….Fuller, Smith & Turner sounds more akin to a law firm than a brewery but a brewery it is.  The London Pride pale ale is a decent beverage.  As with most English pale ales this one was mildly bitter but that in itself is one of the reasons you drink pale ale.  Anyway, this one was an enjoyable drink.  Try one yourself.

Drinkability:  Would drink another.
Appearance: Medium amber in color.
The Buds: Crisp taste with medium bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.

August 23, 2009

Tanner’s Jack Ale Beer Review 8.23.09

TBR's Tanner's Jack Ale Beer Review

TBR's Tanner's Jack Ale Beer Review

Morland Brewery's (aka Greene King)Tanner's Jack in 6 Pack Form

Morland Brewery's (aka Greene King)Tanner's Jack in 6 Pack Form

The Brewski Report’s Review of UK’s Tanner’s Jack Ale.
File Date:  August 23, 2009

File Name:  The G-Man Jacks Us Around
The Beer:  Tanner’s Jack
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving:  Clear Bottle
Stats:  4.40% ABV
Brewer: Greene King / Morland Brewery
Brewer Info:  Morland was a brewery in Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). They first brewed in West Ilsley in 1711. It was purchased and closed by Greene King in 2000; and production of the Morland beers was moved to their brewery in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Greene King Logo

Greene King Logo

Greene King has operated pubs and brewing for over 200 years. Combining successful traditional ale brands with modern forward thinking, Greene King has grown steadily from its base in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk to become a leading pub retailer and brewer. 

Greene King brews all of its beers in Bury St Edmunds, where ale has been a feature of life since at least as far back as 1086. But we’ve taken the traditional art of brewing to new heights, producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country.  Our beers are as much at home in city centre nightspots as they are in the cosy lounge of the village pub; we’ve taken the traditional craft of brewing and turned it into an art form. No other UK brewer is as committed to cask ale.

Morland's Tanner's Jack Fine Ale

Morland's Tanner's Jack Fine Ale

Brewer Brand Hype:  Tanner’s Jack was named after the old Tanner’s drinking vessels, which were known as Jacks. They were in common use from medieval times through to the 19th century. Leather was used because it was more readily available than pewter, decidedly less costly than glass, and did not break like pottery. Leather was also favored because of its strength allied with its light weight.

Tanner’s Jack is “A soft reddish brown ale with a nutty/malty palette, background sweetness and a smooth finish”.  A smooth tasting cask conditioned premium ale. It has a fuller sweeter taste than traditional ales with more character in the flavor than the aroma. There is background sweetness combined with nutty malty flavors to give a fuller bodied, yet easy drinking premium ale.

The Brewski Review:  Okay, now that the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program has come to an end we can ‘officially’ say that the recession is over and that everything is going to be A-Okay.  I was beginning to worry that he $700B in government handouts wasn’t going to work.  I can only figure figure that the catalyst for the whole government TARPS program to energize the economy was the measly $3B in CARS bailout.  Go figure. Anyway, enough about all this G spending.  If I continue to ramble on you’ll get to understand my real, non-sarcastic opinion on the matter: which, I’m sure, will quickly degrade into a blue streak of profanity.  I’d rather talk about the last beer I drank – Tanner’s Jack.  A UK imported ale that was rather tasty (to which my wife will agree).  I came in a clear bottle, which, doesn’t preserve the contents very well but does make for a nice retail presentation.  It poured with decent carbonation but it didn’t retain it’s head very long.  It went down smooth, wasn’t bitter and had minimal aftertaste.  I thought it was a worthy beverage.

Drinkability:  Yes.  Good ale.
Appearance:  Amber color – resembling the leached tannins at Tahquamenon Falls.
The Buds:  Smooth with minimal aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating:  4.0 out of 5.

The Tannin Laced Waters of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Paradise, MI

The Tannin Laced Waters of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Paradise, MI

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